Visiting Santa’s Lapland and Saariselka Inn
On Christmas Eve we set off on our once in a lifetime trip to Santa’s Lapland with three very excited little girls. You may have seen in our earlier post that we had only told them about the trip at the beginning of the week before Christmas so excitement levels were very high!
Flight to Santa’s Lapland
We arrived at Manchester Airport for 5am and immediately knew we were in the right place. Check in was full of families in Christmas jumpers and Santa hats and the staff at check had fun hats on too. The kids gave them their own boarding passes (you can download them here if you like) and we handed over the passports. The kids were a little worried that the elves might not be able to come with us as they didn’t have their own passports but the check in staff reassured them elves didn’t need them to get to Lapland. It was a nice touch.
Top Tip: Print off the kids their own boarding passes for Lapland and get them to wear Christmas jumpers and Santa Hats – you need to wear yours too! It’s all part of the fun!
Printable Lapland Boarding Pass | Santa’s Lapland
Our check in and time in Manchester Airport was really smooth going, early Christmas Eve for us was a quiet time to fly, and we boarded a very excited flight that left Manchester at 6.50am.
The flight team created a nice atmosphere on the flight, even at one point inviting all the kids to the front of the plane to sing Christmas songs to us all.
Top Tip: Take your own picnic for on the plane and for the transfer to resort as it will go over lunchtime. You can buy snacks on the plane but the service isn’t guaranteed. We also went through a lot of sandwiches and snacks.
Arrival in Invano Aiport
We flew over a beautiful snowy Finland which filled the kids with much excitement and they couldn’t wait to get off the flight and throw snowballs.
Top Tip: Make sure you travel in warm winter coats and have hats, gloves and scarves with you to put on. It really is freezing as soon as you land and the kids won’t want to rush into the airport when they’ve just arrived into snow.
We were advised by the flight team that we would be kept on the aeroplane for 5-10 minutes whilst the flight before us cleared the airport. It’s a very small airport and they explained that it was warmer to keep us on until we could fit in. It literally was only 5 minutes and then we got into the baggage reclaim to be greeted by elves! Chatting, giggling, singing elves. Our luggage arrived quickly and we were given our coach name. Coach ‘Dancer’ was to be our coach for the 3 days and would take us to our hotel.
We met a reindeer outside the airport and the elves were out there being cheeky too, singing and dancing and throwing snowballs at the coaches. They certainly work hard the elves!
Coach to Saariselka
The trip to Saariselka takes only 25 minutes and you’re encouraged to sing loudly and get excited about your trip. Singing and allowing your inner child to escape is a theme of the trip and you just need to get onboard!
We stopped a couple of minutes away from the Saariselka Inn where we were staying to get fitted for our thermal suits. This is really well done and the staff hold suits up against you to check your size. It means the whole process doesn’t take very long and you’re soon back on the bus with bags full of thermal clothes.
Top Tip: Try on your mittens whilst you’re in the shop and if possible your shoes just to make sure they fit. You can always head back and change them but if you get chance do try these two things on.
We then popped back on the bus to be deposited at the Saariselka Inn.
So what is the Saariselka Inn like?
The Saarisleka Inn is basic that’s true. It’s a 3* hotel and in my mind similar to a Travelodge, in that it’s functional and clean. Unlike a Travelodge though it had a really fabulous pub at the heart of the Inn where we had our breakfast, had the welcome meeting and warmed up from time to time with hot chocolate.
The rooms are small, but contain everything you need if you are eating all your meals out. There is a small fridge, a kettle, a hairdryer, a tv and our bathroom had a shower over the bath.
Top Tip: Take some wine/fizz and hot chocolate powder in your checked in luggage. We also took some tea bags and coffee. There is a small supermarket but we only needed these couple of things. Alcohol is also expensive in Finland.
For our family of 5 we had a double bed and a sofa bed in a separate room with a camp bed too. The set up was fine for ours but for children any older I think you’d need more room so chat to the team before you book.
Snowy Afternoon Fun in Santa’s Lapland
We spent the rest of the afternoon from say 3-6pm toboganning on the hill just at the bottom of the village. At this time of day it was pretty quiet really and we really really enjoyed heading up the hill and back down again. I felt like I had done as a child when we used to get snow in the UK! It’s funny sledging in pretty much total darkness as by 3pm the sun (such as it is) has well and truly gone!
We had a lovely first day in Santa’s Lapland and were so excited about our Search for Santa on Christmas Day! Check back next week for our review of the Search for Santa Day with Santa’s Lapland.
NB: We travelled to Santa’s Lapland as their guests but all views and opinions are our own.
Ready to Find Out More?
Journey to magical Lapland for a once in a lifetime chance to meet Father Christmas from £929 per adult, reduced rates for children available. Price includes three nights at Saariselkä Inn with flights and transfers, departing in December 2018 from a choice of UK airports. This magical deal also includes all activities such as a private meeting with Santa, Elves and Igloo Fantasia and husky and reindeer sleigh-rides. Santa’s Lapland staff will also provide the whole family with thermal clothing so they’re fully equipped for the enchanting adventures that lie ahead! For more information please visit www.santaslapland.com or call 01483 791 915.
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.